Don’t think you have to stay home all the time because you own a dog. It’s true that he shouldn’t go traveling until he’s at least six months old. It’s true that you cannot leave him alone in the house for longer than one day, no matter how old he is. And it’s also true that if you don’t want to be bothered taking him with you when you travel, you can board him at a kennel. But if you really do want to take your dog on a trip, or you can’t afford to board him, traveling with Beans can be easy.
Beans Takes a Trip by Car
Unless your family should move from one part of the country to another, you’ll probably travel most often with Beans by car. Suppose you’re going away for your summer vacation or for a spring week end. How can you take him in your automobile, with enjoyment for both the dog and the family?
Beans should get used to riding in your car before you take him on his first long trip. He may get carsick, but if you do the right things, he should get over this. First, don’t feed him or give him any water for several hours before introducing him to the car. Second, if he seems frightened by the noise and motion, hold him in your lap and talk to him until he gets used to them. And third, don’t make the first rides too long.
Better have a scrap of cloth or an old towel spread over your lap during that first trip, in case Beans should vomit. If he does, don’t take him out riding again for a few days. Then try again, always remembering not to feed or water him before the ride. Keep these first trips very short and don’t drag him into the car if he still seems scared. Carry him in, pet him, reassure him during the ride. Unless he is a highly nervous dog, he should soon become accustomed to the car and begin to enjoy his rides.
The next step is to teach him his car manners. Put a piece of heavy cloth, carpet, or blanket, or his own sleeping mattress on a corner of the rear seat. Train Beans to sit or lie on this during the trip. You can sit near him at first, to keep him there, but later he should obey your command to “stay there.”
Never let him ride in the front seat where he can interfere with the steering wheel or the driver. If it’s hot and he wants to lie on the floor in the back of the car, let him do it. The air is cooler there. But while he’s still a pup, break him of the bad habit of jumping from the back to the front seat and back again. Stop him from sticking his head out the open window. Stop him from barking at every dog you pass. If you are firm in teaching him this behavior, you’ll enjoy your rides with Beans. If you’re not firm and let him bark or hop all over the place, the trip can be as unpleasant as a trip with a spoiled, whining child.
Suppose Beans is now trained to be polite in the car. He doesn’t get carsick. And you’re ready to take him with you on a long trip. What do you do next?
Beans Gets His Travel Papers
Next you take Beans to a veterinarian and ask him to give you a certificate that says the dog is in good health. If he hasn’t yet been inoculated against rabies, you have it done at this time. After he has examined Beans and given him a shot, the vet will give you two certificates and a little tag which you attach to his collar. This proves that he has been inoculated.
Why bother with all this? Because many states have a law that says no dogs may cross their borders unless they have these good-health and rabies certificates.
“All right, I have his papers and can take him anywhere. What do I do next?”
Your Dog’s Baggage
Next you pack Beans’s suitcase!
That sounds funny, doesn’t it? But if you will put his things in a small bag, box, or carton, your trip will be much easier than if these things are scattered all over the car. Here is what he’ll probably need on a trip:
His eating equipment: Food dish. Can opener. Dog biscuits. Canned food, milk and vegetables. Spoon. Feeding chart, if he’s still a pup.
His grooming equipment: Brush. Comb. Soap. Dry shampoo. Towel. Flea powder. His medical equipment: Milk of magnesia. Boric acid. Castor, mineral, or olive oil. This book for reference. His toys.
His health and rabies certificates.
The blanket you’ve put on his place in the car will be his bed wherever you stop. Tucked away in the back of the car, where they are easy to get at, should also be a jar of fresh water, with a tight cap, and a bath towel to keep muddy paws from marking up the upholstery.
Where Does Beans Sleep?
So many families tour with their dogs today that it is no longer difficult to find a hotel, or tourist home, or motel that will permit you to take Beans into your room. But just because hotel-keepers allow your dog to stay with you, you must be extra careful to see that Beans behaves himself, so that they will continue to welcome dog visitors.
If you follow these few simple rules, Beans will be a pleasant guest:
Don’t let him chew up anything. If he does any damage to hotel property, offer to pay for it.
Don’t let him sleep in the beds or jump up on the chairs.
Don’t let him bark when it will disturb people.
Don’t let him off his leash in public rooms or grounds. Don’t take him into the dining room with you.
Don’t leave him alone in a strange room. He may whine or bark and disturb other guests. The bathroom, or a large closet with the door left slightly ajar, makes a good place to put his mattress for the night. Spread newspapers on the floor first, in case he should have an accident. Be sure to pick up these papers before you leave the next day.
When you fix his dinner, be sure not to leave any crumbs or scraps of food around. Wrap up empty tin cans or food leavings in paper and put them in the wastebasket.
One thing to remember always about a summer automobile trip with your dog: Don’t ever leave Beans in a parked car that is right in the sun. Ask your parents to park in a place that will be shaded for as long as you expect to be away from the car. Then leave some of the windows open. Many a dog has died because he was left in a hot car without any air.
Beans Takes a Bus
If you take Beans on a bus trip with you, he will have to be carried either in a small traveling case that you can buy for this purpose, or in a carton with air holes punched in its top. Since this confinement is very hard on the dog, such a trip should not be a long one.
If you have to go a long distance by bus, it would be easier on Beans to ship him by train.
Beans Boards a Train
If Beans goes on a train by himself, he will ride in the baggage car. If he isn’t put into a crate, he must wear a muzzle and a leash. If the weather is cold, be sure to put on his coat or sweater. Give the baggage man the food he will need for the trip, with written instructions as to how much to feed and when. The baggage man is trained to watch over pets, so he will follow your suggestions and treat your dog kindly.
If Beans is put into a wooden crate, it must be high enough for him to stand in and large enough for him to move around in. Put his food and water dish in the crate with him. Put in his own sleeping rug or blanket. And put his coat on if it’s cold. Write out your feeding instructions on a card and nail this to the top of the crate. Give enough food for the trip to the baggage man, or tie it in a parcel to the crate. You might also give Beans his favorite toy to keep him company.
Beans can stay with you on a train if you are traveling in a compartment or a roomette. He must wear a muzzle in the stations and the train until he is in your room. You can take him for walks during long stops. Take the same suitcase for him as you would for an auto trip. And obey the same travel rules that you would when staying in a hotel.
Beans Goes to Sea
Large steamship lines either have their own kennels for dogs on their ships, or they permit you to keep your pet in your cabin. But before you take Beans to a foreign country, be sure to find out what health papers you must have for him. Some countries won’t allow dogs to enter unless they are first quarantined for a long time. Ask the steamship ticket office what the laws are for the country you are going to visit. Otherwise you may find that your dog has to stay in quarantine longer than your visit in the country, and you’d better leave him home.
If you’re in a hurry and have a lot of money, you can ship your dog by airplane. Since each company has its own regulations, however, better ask the ticket agent what you must do with Beans if you want him to fly.